The family of a woman killed by a Nigerian military officer on Saturday in Warri, Delta State demanded that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
The son of the deceased, Shedrack Aktarobi, appealed to the State and federal governments to immediately intervene in the matter and ensure that the culprits are held accountable for their actions.
Alice Aktarobi, a level twelve judicial officer with Oleh Magistrate Court, was on her way to chair the wedding of her daughter, Joy Aktarobi, before being killed by a trigger-happy army officer on April 30, 2016.
The middle-aged woman was reported to have boarded a commercial tricycle to a relative’s home near the venue of the wedding in order to make it on time, as the State-wide compulsory monthly environmental sanitation was in progress. The wedding ceremony reportedly commenced very early in order to beat the sanitation exercise.
However, the soldiers were said to have flagged down the tricyclist at Jakpa Junction, claiming it was not yet 10 a.m., the official time for ending the environmental sanitation exercise across the State.
One of the soldiers aimed his gun at the tricycle, as the rider was apparently not going to stop, shooting dead the woman in the process.
It was gathered that the incident occurred at about 8.30 a.m., although the body of the deceased woman was taken to the Ekpan police station later before being taking to the morgue.
Mr. Aktarobi, who narrated the family’s ordeal to reporters in Warri immediately after a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Army 3 Battalion Effurun, confirmed that the soldier fired a bullet straight at his mother’s chest.
“We rushed to the scene immediately when we got the information. Everybody had fled. Even the team of soldiers that wreaked havoc had deserted the area. It was only my mother on the ground in a pool of blood. Later, one of the soldiers directly identified as E. K. Christian helped us, and we took her to the Ekpan police station before the police deposited her body in the morgue.”
A human rights activist, Rockson Igelige, has lent his voice to the demand for the prosecution of the officer involved in the heinous act by the appropriate security agencies. Mr. Igelige warned that shielding the perpetrator from justice would encourage more killings as their actions would go unpunished.
Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer of the 3 Battalion Effurun Division, Major Azanku, has offered N200,000 as compensation to the family to avoid a legal battle. It was later gathered that the family turned down the offer.